British Library exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic to open in New York next year

Exterior shot of the New-York Historical Society Museum
The New-York Historical Society Museum, 2012 in New York City. Dario Cantatore / Contributor/ Getty Images.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic is coming to the New-York Historical Society next year – with a special book to accompany the exhibition available from this October

As you may have heard, as part of the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the British Library is opening a major exhibition in London, Harry Potter: A History of Magic, running from 20 October 2017 until 28 February 2018.

For those who can’t make it to London, help is at hand – with the announcement that it will be travelling to a new home at the New-York Historical Society in October 2018.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Exploring the subjects studied at Hogwarts, the exhibition will include original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay – all on display for the first time.

And as it travels from London to New York, the exhibition will evolve to include US-specific artefacts and items from the collection of US Harry Potter publisher Scholastic.

That’s not all: to whet your appetite, on 20 October 2017 – marking the day the exhibition opens in London – Scholastic will publish one of the exhibition’s two accompanying titles, Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic, as a sneak peek for fans in the US.

Cover art for Harry Potter: A Journey Through the History of Magic, out 20 October 2017, published by Scholastic.
Cover art for Harry Potter: A Journey Through the History of Magic, out 20 October 2017, published by Scholastic.

Aimed at a family audience, this book, published alongside Pottermore’s eBook edition, will showcase a selection of the amazing artefacts, manuscripts, original artwork and magical objects included in the exhibition.

‘We are so excited to be taking a major exhibition on tour to New York for the very first time,’ says the British Library. ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic promises to be a stunning exhibition capturing the traditions of folklore and magic across the world, which are at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. We’re delighted to be able to share this exhibition with fans across the pond following its run here in London, especially as we have the opportunity to develop the exhibition for a US audience in collaboration with US publisher Scholastic.’

Once the exhibition has arrived in New York next year, Scholastic will also publish an official comprehensive companion book, Harry Potter: A History of Magic. A collaboration between the publishers and the exhibition curators, this will be a lavishly produced, full-colour book which will make the whole exhibition experience available to everyone. 

Again, a digital edition will be launched by Pottermore alongside the exhibition. This edition will have enhancements allowing the content to be navigated in multiple, digital-first ways, and will feature additional visuals of exhibition artefacts.

You can read more about the upcoming British Library exhibition here and here.